Saturday, June 11, 2011

ThePocketHolster - Testing In Progress

Nearly a month ago, I received ThePocketHolster from TPH for testing and evaluation.  Knowing I'd run it through its paces and find every unfair circumstance I could throw at it, Jason over at ThePocketHolster was confident that if anyone could find a serious flaw in his new second generation holster design, it would be me.  Indeed, I haven't been doing this holster any favors.  I've been wearing tighter fitting relaxed jeans instead of my normal loose fit dungarees.  I've been wearing with and without the anti-print panel in a variety of carry methods, which I'll discuss in a bit.  I've been drawing from it a lot, getting it wet, subjecting it to sweat and humidity, wide temperature variations, and I even left it sitting on the dashboard of my truck in direct sunlight for the better part of an afternoon.  In essence, I've been abusing this holster and showing it no mercy.  I've subjected it to more than most people would do.  I've crawled around under my truck, dragging this holster (in my pocket) between the ground and myself, sitting on it for rear pocket carry, getting chainsaw bar oil, gear oil, motor oil, coolant, and all kinds of dirt and crap on it (as it bleeds through the denim in my jeans and fabric of my coveralls).  ThePocketHolster has held up amazingly.  In fact, the only real victim in all this torture testing has been the Ruger LCP that rides in it, and it developed a bit of surface rust on the laser engraved LCP lettering on the slide.  But that's nothing a little Break Free CLP and a toothbrush can't fix.  What we really want to know is, how has ThePocketHolster faired in all this?

Quite well.

Aside from a couple of wear marks, in the photo above, the holster has done well for itself.  The coloration is still there and it is still rich as ever.  I have noticed that the "ears" have flattened to a degree; the one that contacts my body in the pocket has flattened more than the outward one.  I imagine that with more rear pocket/anti-print panel wear, the other one will flatten a bit too.  But this was to be expected.  Oh yes, Jason from TPH said he anticipated this and that's why he made them as pronounced as they are.  That way, when the do flatten out, they will still have a bit of a flare to push off with your thumb.

ThePocketHolster next to the Ruger LCP. You can see some wear marks in places the LCP controls and grip ride, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Okay, let's talk about what we all want to talk about.  How does it carry?  Does it print?  Well, we'll get to that in a second here, but I need to stress something very important with regards to printing.  When I wear my cheapo Costco special Kirkland jeans, the pockets are a little on the tight side.  There's not much room to get my hand in them and the seat area around to the front pockets wear on my body fairly snug.  They are comfortable jeans, but they don't give ThePocketHolster a snowball's chance in hell when it comes to not printing.  Even my LCP in the pocket alone prints.  So, adding material through a leather holster only serves to make it thicker, thereby printing a bit more.  What we are concerned with is HOW DOES IT PRINT? 

So, how does it print?  It looks like a wallet.  With the anti-print panel in place, it looks like a wallet in my back pocket.  With the panel removed, and the holster situated for front pocket carry, it looks like it's probably a cellphone.  ThePocketHolster breaks up the gun profile well enough that it doesn't resemble much of anything.  And yes, even in my so-called "skinny" jeans, it is hard to tell a gun is there in the first place because I've found the sweet spot in the pocket to make the whole thing disappear.

I was in Costco today wearing my newly bought Union Bay cargo shorts (which I also bought at Costco - Imagine that).  I hated the way the whole thing rode in the cargo pocket on the side.  The pocket is too big, it allows the whole gun and holster to flop around and with the 12 ounces (with bullets) swinging down by my knees, I just wasn't feeling very confident about the whole thing.  So, I moved my lighter and smaller wallet into one of the zippered security pockets on the side and put ThePocketHolster and the LCP in my back pocket with the anti-print panel facing out away from me.  I asked my wife if she could tell where I was carrying and she guessed one of the cargo pockets.  She didn't even think that the LCP and TPH were in my rear pocket.  She said she thought it was my wallet; AND SHE WAS LOOKING FOR THE GUN!!!

The lay person, who is not concerned with firearms, concealed carry, or anything related to the gun culture won't even notice.  Of course, the white t-shirt I was wearing might have been a dead giveaway since it says, "I support the 2nd Amendment" with a big American Flag on the back, but since I wasn't carrying my normal SR9c IWB, the most logical place to look (my hip) would produce nothing but a love handle where a gun butt should be.  Yeah, I did that on purpose because I did not want the distraction of my SR9c to take away from my testing of TPH in the back pocket of these shorts.  The material is also fairly thin, you know for summertime wear.  Again, the pockets on these shorts (the front pockets) are small and tightly cut to the body so that even my spare magazine prints.  So, I decided not to front pocket carry with these and it would be really obvious that "something" was in that pocket, and it was the reasonable location someone with a shred of intelligence would have looked, considering I was clearly not carrying IWB and could not sport an ankle holster with tennis shoes and low cut socks.

I've also carried in the Napoleon security pocket in my lightweight Columbia jacket.  C'mon.  There is no printing there at all.  That was way too easy.  And since the weather is getting warmer in the Pacific Northwest, it's kind of a moot point anyway. 

So, the two main carry options are covered: front pocket and rear pocket carry.  Rear pocket definitely looks like a large wallet, and you pretty much have to use the anti-print panel for that since it not only aids in the deception, but locates the weapon so it doesn't rotate around behind your butt.  Front pocket carry is great for even my tighter fitting jeans, but the anti-print panel (APP) needs to be removed to make it less obvious.  Now, don't get all uppity about having to remove and reinstall the panel for different types carry.  Depending on what gun I'm carrying and how I'm carrying, I have to make small adjustments to different clothing, belt, holsters, etc that take a few extra seconds anyway, and I can remove or install the APP on TPH in less than 30 seconds.  Of course, you do need a flat blade screwdriver, but you do have a small pocket knife on your key chain don't you?  If not, read this.  Just make sure not to lose the Chicago screws.

While testing is nowhere near complete (I haven't abused this holster enough yet), I am pleased to say that this holster is holding up rather well and is taking everything I've thrown at it so far in stride.  So, keep reading because I'm not done with this evaluation.

-James

3 comments:

  1. Is this company still in business? All I get is a "404" message on their web site.

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  2. I'm not certain. I sent JK an email to see if all was okay, but haven't received a response yet. I will update when I get an answer.

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  3. Well I hope they are... I love my Seecamp, but I hate the holsters I have for it. I am hoping they have one that fits a Seecamp.

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